Most of Natural Resources Wales’ functions relating to forestry are derived from the Forestry Act 1967. The main functions are discussed below.
The general duties of Natural Resources Wales are set out in sections 1(2) and (3) of the Forestry Act 1967. Natural Resources Wales has a general duty to promote the interests of forestry, the development of afforestation and the production and supply of timber and other forest products (section 1(2)). It also has a duty to promote the establishment and maintenance of adequate reserves of growing trees (section 1(3)). In performing its duties, Natural Resources Wales must seek to achieve a reasonable balance between the development of afforestation, management of forests and production and supply of timber, and the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty and the conservation of flora, fauna and geological or physiographical features of special interest (section 1(3A)).
Section 46(1) of the Forestry Act 1967 empowers Natural Resources Wales to make byelaws with respect to any land which is under its management or control and to which the public have, or may be permitted to have, access. Section 48 gives Natural Resources Wales powers of entry and enforcement for purposes in connection with the exercise of its powers and performance of its duties under the Forestry Act 1967 or the Plant Health Act 1967.